Helderberg College


Helderberg College is a private higher education institution situated in Somerset West, South Africa, about thirty minutes from Cape Town. It was established in 1893 – the first Seventh-day Adventist College established outside of North America under the name “Union College”. It moved to its present location in 1928, making it the oldest Adventist College on the continent of Africa.

It is fully accredited by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and Department of Education (DoE)(South Africa) as well as by the Adventist Accrediting Association (AAA).

The Mission of Helderberg College is to deliver dynamic, affordable, values-based education within the context of the Seventh-day Adventist educational philosophy.

Our educational focus is in the fields of Arts, Business, Education, Health, Religion and Theology.


The history of Seventh-day Adventist education in South Africa began in 1893 with the establishment of Claremont Union College, Cape Town. The College changed locations in 1919 and again in 1928 in an attempt to follow more closely the philosophy that has motivated this institution. After the first move, the College became known as Spion Kop College, and in 1928 the last move established Helderberg College, on the slopes of Helderberg Mountain, just outside of Somerset West, South Africa.

Claremont Union College (1893-1917)

The first Seventh-day Adventist College outside North America, Claremont Union College opened its doors on February 1st of 1893. It was situated on 23 acres (93,000 m2) of land within walking distance of Kenilworth station. The impressive buildings and comprehensive curriculum are testimony to the vision of those early educators. The original stately double-storey college building has since been proclaimed a national monument and is today the focal building in a modern shopping complex.

South African Training College (1919-1922)

The site for Claremont Union College had been chosen because of the strong conviction that a secluded, rural location was most conducive to true education, but by 1917 sprawling urban growth posed a threat. Consequently the College was relocated on a mission station 20 miles (32 km) from Ladysmith, Natal.

Spion Kop College (1922-1927)

It soon became evident that the remote location and inaccessibility of Spion Kop College were insurmountable obstacles and in 1925 a committee was appointed to select a new location. After looking at 50 farms in the Western Cape, the committee unanimously chose Bakkerskloof with its apricot orchards flanking Helderberg Mountain.

Helderberg College (1928- )

The new African Missionary College, as it was first called, opened in 1928 with two dormitories completed and plans for the construction of the administration building well under way. The institution was renamed Helderberg College after the mountain towering protectively above it. Today, there are more than 60 buildings on campus including the church administration, classrooms, library, auditory, gymnasium, cafeteria, student center, 3 floor student residential housing, apartments for married students, etc.

The need for wider recognition and closer control over the curriculum led to the next major change, in 1976, when an affiliation agreement was entered into with Andrews University (located in Berrien Springs, Michigan, USA).

In 1997, an additional affiliation agreement was entered into with Southern Adventist University (located in Collegedale, Tennessee, USA).


Helderberg College is a half-hour’s drive from the city of Cape Town. A popular tourist destination, it offers easy access for our students to Table Mountain, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, shopping malls and other entertainment.

Across the bay is Cape Point, a two-hour drive from the college. The most south-westerly point of Africa, it incorporates part of the Table Mountain Nature Reserve and sees the meeting of the Indian and Atlantic oceans.

Near the college the Helderberg Nature Reserve can be found. Hiking trails lead up the mountain slopes and green lawns provide the perfect place for a relaxing picnic.

Within easy driving distance are the towns of Stellenbosch, Grabouw and Paarl, each with their own unique atmosphere, things to do and places to see. Shark diving, mountain biking, hiking, surfing, you can find it all right here. Music, culture, theatre, quaint little coffee shops and street markets, they’re here too. All it takes is a little time and a wander off the beaten track to discover the many jewels this area has to offer. For a quick shopping trip, the comprehensive Somerset Mall complex offers everything you need – and more – a mere 8 minutes drive away.

Degrees and Programs

English Language Course

  • Level: Beginning
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Level: Advanced
  • TOEFL/IELTS preparation


  • Bachelor of Arts: Communication
  • Bachelor of Arts: History
  • Bachelor of Arts: Psychology
  • Higher Certificate in Early Childhood Development (offered in partnership with Boland College and accredited by the ETDP SETA).


  • Bachelor of Business Administration: Accounting
  • Bachelor of Business Administration: Management
  • Diploma in Business Management: Accounting
  • Diploma in Business Management: Management
  • Diploma in Business Management: Marketing
  • Diploma in Office Administration


  • Bachelor of Arts: Theology
  • Bachelor of Arts: Biblical studies


Academic Calendar 2012-2013

2nd Semester 2012

  • July 30 – Classes start
  • November 30 – End classes

1st Semester 2013

  • January 21 – Classes begin
  • May 31st – Classes end

2nd Semester 2013

  • July 25 – Classes begin
  • December 3 – Classes end

Student life

Student life

Campus Ministries

While the forms of spiritual activity have varied over the course of the years, the basic sources of spiritual nourishment have remained surprisingly constant – worship services in church, dormitory and chapel, and the quiet times of personal meditation and prayer.


The work activities have changed over the years, but it is still possible for a student to be exposed to a wide variety of activities, should he or she so choose. At present approximately a third of the students apply for work bursaries of 5–15 hours per week.

Student Clubs

Since the very origins of universities in the thirteenth century, students have organized themselves into clubs. Helderberg has been no exception. Through the years a wide variety of clubs, guilds, brigades and other organizations have come and gone.

Student organizations have always played an important role in the activities of the College. The SRC (Student Representative Council) liaises between students and the College administration and arranges numerous student activities like weekend camps, sports and entertainment programmes.


The music department welcomes all who wish to learn, irrespective of their previous musical background. The music department offers classes in piano, organ, voice, theory of music, guitar, violin, cello, trumpet, french horn, trombone, clarinet, saxophone, flute, etc.

The Heldeberg College has many musical groups including the Helderberg College Choir, the Somerset Singers and the Somerset Strings.


Application Procedure

  1. An application form, together with the required documentation, must be completed. Applications submitted without all required documentation are not processed.?
  2. After submission of this form to the College for evaluation, you will receive an official response.
  3. If accepted for admission, you will first receive a provisional acceptance letter, stating your acceptance and indicating the fees to be paid to Helderberg College before full acceptance is granted.?
  4. Upon payment of the fees, you will receive a letter of full acceptance and a letter to be taken to the Embassy (indicating full payment and full acceptance), where you will apply for a student visa.
  5. Apply for a student visa.

Application Form

Application form for studying at Helderberg College.

Financial Information

Contains details of costs while studying at Helderberg College for tuition, incidental fees, and boarding.


A foreigner, who intends to study in the Republic of South Africa, may be issued with a study permit. The following documentation must be submitted in respect of each person applying for a study permit:

  1. A fully completed application form BI-1738, including one (1) photograph sized 3.5X4.5;
  2. A passport valid for no less than thirty (30) days after departure from the Republic of South Africa, and containing at least two (2) blank pages for endorsements;
  3. An official letter from the relevant institution confirming provisional acceptance and the exact duration of the course;
  4. In the case of an applicant under the age of eighteen (18), confirmatory letter from the guardian and consent for both parents
  5. In respect of minor dependent children accompanying the applicant to or joining the applicant in the Republic, the following documentation shall be submitted: an unabridged birth certificate;
  6. A police clearance, issued by the police or security authority in each country where the applicant resided for twelve (12) months or longer since having attained the age of eighteen (18) years, in respect of criminal records or the character of the applicant, and this certificate shall not be older than six (6) months at the time of its submission;
  7. A medical report (form BI-811), which shall not be older than six (6) months at the time of its submission;
  8. A radiological report (form BI-806) which shall not be older than six (6) months at the time of its submission, and shall not be required in respect of children under the age of twelve (12) years or pregnant women;
  9. Proof of medical insurance recognized in the Republic of South Africa;
  10. Proof of sufficient financial means;
  11. Payment of a cash deposit, which shall be refunded to the applicant after his/her final departure or after a permanent residence permit has been issued to the applicant;
  12. A self-addressed envelope (registered mail) to return the endorsed passport, if applicable;
  13. The non-refundable application fee.


Application fee

The application fee must be included with the application form. A late application fee comes into effect one month before registration.

International students: USD50 (50).

Late Registration: USD100 USD50 (100).

Deposit and Registration Fee

On acceptance, students are required to pay a deposit of 30% of annual tuition fee and 30% of semester boarding fee. The deposit has to be produced at registration together with the registration fee of R1, 430 (1430) (1430). An additional R725.00 (725) (725) will be charged for late registration, which will be allowed until one week after the first day of classes.

Tuition Fees

All the fees that reach the college must be Rands equivalent, so budget for a difference in exchange rate and bank charges (approximately USD48) (48) when making your deposit.

These fees are class (tuition) fees only. Books are not included, but should be budgeted for. The following tuition fees are applicable per programme of study.

Course of Study *Projected tuition/year
Bachelor of Arts

R37 990 (R290 per credit at 131 crs. per year)

37990 (290 per credit at 131 crs. per year)

37990 (290 per credit at 131 crs. per year)

Bachelor of Business Administration

R35 670 (R290 per credit at 123 crs. per year)

35670 (290 per credit at 123 crs. per year

35670 (290 per credit at 123 crs. per year

Diploma in Business Management

R31 000 (R250 per credit at 124 crs. per year)

31000 (250 per credit at 124 crs. per year)

31000 (250 per credit at 124 crs. per year)

Diploma in Office Administration

R13 600 (R100 per credit at 136 crs. per year)

13600 (100 per credit at 136 crs. per year)

13600 (100 per credit at 136 crs. per year)

Bachelor of Theology

R37 410 (R290 per credit at 129 crs. per year)

37410 (290 per credit at 129 crs. per year)

37410 (290 per credit at 129 crs. per year)

English Language Institute**

USD5504 (5504) (USD43 (43) per credit at 128 crs. per year)

Higher Certificate in Early Childhood Development

R17400 + R1100 for materials & practical

17400 + 1100 for materials & practical

17400 + 1100 for materials & practical

*Note: Please be advised that all fees are only estimated amounts.

**Note: English Language Institute fees include one outing per month and textbooks, but exclude boarding during holidays, extramural activities, or spending money.


Please budget an amount of R6 600 (6600) (6600) per year for book expenses.

Boarding Fees

Financial arrangements must be made before a student can be admitted into residence. Boarding fees are the same, irrespective of gender or programme of study. Policy requires that all students reside in the residences, except for married students or those residing locally with their parents. Boarding fees include three meals per day. Boarding fees do not apply to holiday accommodation. Students accommodated over holidays will be charged on a daily basis, as well as students who arrive prior to two days before registration, or stay more than one day after the end of a semester.

Boarding *Projected cost/year
Accommodation & one meal (lunch)

R22 136 per annum

22136 per annum

22136 per annum

Accommodation & two meals (lunch and supper)

R30 208 per annum

30208 per annum

30208 per annum

Accommodation & three meals (breakfast, lunch and supper)

R36 565 per annum

36565 per annum

36565 per annum

Room Deposit R506 (506) (506)

*Note: Please be advised that all fees are only estimated amounts.


R1 (ZAR) = 1(USD)

R1 (ZAR) = 1 (BRL)


“I had the opportunity to study English at Helderberg College in 2002 and I can say it was the best experience I have ever had in my life! Helderberg College is located in beautiful and quiet place that makes the atmosphere on campus very pleasant. For those who like to be in the midst of nature it will feel like a paradise, because the college was built at the foot of a mountain and near the Indian Ocean. One of the things that struck me was the cultural diversity. I didn’t only have the privilege of meeting people from all over the world but also to make friends for life. Besides the educational activities Helderberg College also offers sports, music activities and many other activities of a religious nature. In a nutshell, Helderberg College is the perfect place to grow in the educational, cultural and spiritual areas.” - Deyvison Romangnoli

“My time at Helderberg College was a life time changing experience. My initial plan was to spend just one year as a student missionary but fell in love with the place and ended up spending 5 years and doing a degree with 2 majors. I met excellent teachers and people from all over the world. I received an oustanding education and developed not just academically but spiritually as well. I also met the woman of my life whom I am happily married. Helderberg College is definitely a whorthwile experience!” - Denison Grellmann

“When I think of Helderberg College, so many amazing memories come back to me. Beautiful surroundings, friends from all over the world, Helderberg mountain, friendly and caring staff, the choir tours, the outings with the language school, the most beautiful singing one could possibly hear, a beautiful mix of languages and cultures, the dormitory worships, and absolutely breath-taking sunsets! Beautiful memories. I had the best time of my life at HBC, and I am really grateful to the wonderful teachers and lecturers I had there who helped me to be who I am today. Would I recommend Helderberg College? Yes!” – Mirian Shmakova













Degrees Fahrenheit

41° to 67°

50° to 75°

60° to 92°

50° to 79°



5° to 20°

10° to 23°

15° to 33°

10° to 26°


1. What costs does the application fee cover?

The application fee covers several expenses such as freshman orientation where students don’t have to pay for any expenses for for 3-4 days including taking students to go sightseeing.

2. How many levels of English classes does Helderberg offer?

It varies every term depending on quantity of students and their English proficiency.

3. Do I have to show proof of financial sustainability?

Not for Helderberg College however you will be asked once applying for the student visa at the Consulate.

4. Are there any scholarships for international students studying a regular major other than English as a second language?

There is a very limited amount of scholarships and it’s awarded based on academic performance during the 1st year at Helderberg.

5. How many people sleep in one room the dorm?

Most rooms are for 2 students and usually students that are in the same academic level room together. Most international students room with English speaking students.

6. How many meals do I get a day?

There are different plans that you can use the cafeteria once, twice or 3 times/day.

7. Is there married housing available?

Yes. There are about 40 apartments for married students, however usually there is a waiting list and students are advised to apply at least 6 months in advance.

8. Does Helderberg College offer health insurance to international students?

Helderberg College does endorse a health insurance but international students are advised to come with their own international health insurance.

9. What’s the most popular major at Helderberg College?

Around 62% of the student body is studying Theology, the most popular major, followed by Media Communication and Psychology.

10. How many students are enrolled at Helderberg College?

Around 300 students attend Helderberg College.

11. What’s the student to faculty ratio?

There is one faculty for each 14 students on campus.

12. What’s around the campus?

Helderberg is situated in a privileged suburban area and there are a few convenience stores and restaurants walking distance from the school. A cab ride is very affordable where students are able to go to the mall and other places around.

13. Can international students work on campus?

Yes. Helderberg College offers a work bursary program where students receive a discount in their student accounts as a payment. The most popular jobs are in the cafeteria, maintenance department and information technology.

14. Is there a partnership between Helderberg College and Helderberg High School?!?

Yes. There is a boarding academy located on campus as well.